Free Electronic Tagging of Resident’s Bicycles

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The Bulletin Board has been alerted by John Argyrou, Police Community Support Officer that the Caledonian Ward Safer Neighbourhood Team will be launching a special campaign to curtail bicycle theft in our area.  They are offering to install microchips on local resident’s bicycles at no charge as part of the campaign to improve security, deter theft, and help residents fight crime.

Once tagged with one of these new electronic microchips, the police will be able tp easily identify the rightful owner, especially in the case of recoveries.  More importantly, the local police team will also have hand-held scanners that will allow them to read the information stored on the chips right on the street – so ownership could be verified on the spot in situations that warrant such action.  This fact, in itself, will create a powerful deterrent as potential criminals will be easily caught-out unless they can prove ownership.

PCSO Argyrou explained: “The message to cycle thieves is ‘enough is enough.’  Once fitted, these tags cannot be removed and means that the bicycle is easily identifiable. We have targeted specific locations where we have seen an increase in the number of cycle thefts and will use this new approach as a deterrent to would-be thieves. This is a fantastic opportunity for cycle owners to help secure their property.  I’m particularly thinking of anyone who received a new bike for Christmas.  Please, come along and have it tagged for free, and maybe prevent it from being stolen in the future.”

Police Sgt. David Wiggins added, “We hope for a good turn-out as we think this is exactly the kind of iniative that the public will appreciate, we believe it is a solid step forward in reducing cycle thefts in the area.”

The electronic tags are hidden in the frame of the bicycle and cannot be removed.  They have a unique code number which corresponds to information stored on a local database which is available to officers 24 hours a day. As part of the registration process, owners receive a "photo ID with their details and a photograph of the bicycle to certify ownership and to assist identification, if necessary. 

To get one of these microchips installed, local residents need simply to bring their bike(s) to the Caledonian Pool (Caledonian Road, just North of Copenhagen Street) between the hours of 4PM and 7PM on Monday 28 January.  The process should only take a few minutes, but come early as a large turnout is expected.  However, if you miss this opportunity, the police are planning another such tagging event in the near future.

While the Police are doing all they can, Residents should be reminded that this is only one facet of preventing crime, and that they can take further tips to avoid cycle theft. Keep in mind to:

• Always lock your bike when you leave it. You should invest in a good quality D lock or high security chain. A list of police recommended products can be found on the Sold Secure website www.soldsecure.com

• Lock your bike through the rear wheel and front wheel and secure it to a strong immovable object such as a bike rack or lamp post (making sure that you do not obstruct pedestrian routes).

• Do not allow the chain or lock to drag on the ground as this can make it easier for the thieves to break or cut it.

• Leave your bike where it can be seen by other people or an area covered by CCTV cameras.

• Remove any accessory that is easily stolen and take it with you.

• Have your bike marked and registered. There are a number of schemes that offer this service www.bikeregister.com & www.rfidsystems.co.uk

• Many bikes are stolen from people’s homes from insecure garages or sheds. Use your bike lock at home and secure your bike to a heavy or immovable object. There are a number of wall and ground anchors that can be fitted see www.soldsecure.com

• Make sure that the garage or shed is locked.

• If you have any information about anyone who might be involved with bicycle theft, please ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

For further information please contact Caledonian Ward Safer Neighbourhood Team on (020) 7421-0271, or email them at: Caledonian.SNT@met.pnn.police.uk

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